Rep. Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) said the White House is "covering up" for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn during a Thursday press conference.
Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, criticized the White House for refusing to fulfill a bipartisan request to release documents pertaining to Flynn's hiring and firing. The request for the documents was made as part of the committee's ongoing investigation into Flynn's activities.
"I honestly do not understand why the White House is covering up for Michael Flynn. I don't get it," Cummings said. "After the president fired him for lying. So, the president fired him for lying about his communications with the Russian ambassador."
Flynn resigned as national security adviser in February after it was discovered that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about a past conversation with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, regarding U.S. sanctions against Russia.
Cummings said the White House should be helping the committee and that there is a paper trail the panel will continue to follow.
"They should be bending over backwards to help us," Cummings said. "It does not make any sense, and it makes the American people think the White House has something to hide. There's obviously a paper trail, ladies and gentlemen. There is a paper trail that the White House does not want our committee to follow, but let it be known that we will follow it. We will follow it with everything we've got."
Earlier this week, the White House explained to the the House Oversight Committee in a letter why it would not provide further requested documents on Flynn, CNN reported.
White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short outlined in a letter to the House Oversight Committee how it would not complete the request from the panel, referring some requests to the Department of Defense, saying the office doesn't have custody of some of the other documents or simply stating "we are unable to accommodate" others.
A White House aide disputed that the White House was withholding anything from the committee, saying they could not provide documents they do not have access to. The aide said that they directed oversight investigators to the appropriate agencies.